Podium Finish for Krohn Racing at Mexico City The Mexico City 400k at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez in Mexico City was both a fantastic and a heart-wrenching race for the Krohn Racing team. The No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley of Colin Braun...
Podium Finish for Krohn Racing at Mexico City
The Mexico City 400k at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriquez in Mexico City was both a fantastic and a heart-wrenching race for the Krohn Racing team. The No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley of Colin Braun and Max Papis, which led the majority of the race, finished on the podium in second place after a late race pass. The No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley of Tracy Krohn and Nic Jonsson finished eighth overall, their best finish since the 2006 Rolex 24 At Daytona race.
Race pole sitter Colin Braun had a phenomenal run as he led the race for his entire stint, methodically pulling away from the field. By his pit stop on Lap 57, of 100, the 18-year-old young gun had lapped the entire field except one car, the No. 99 Gainsco Pontiac Riley of Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney. After a near perfect pit stop, Papis stepped in and worked back into the lead. He managed to stay in front until a slower car held him up and Gurney got past him on Lap 88, with 12 laps to go. Gurney and Papis battled it out for several laps before Papis returned the favor and passed Gurney while working through slower traffic conditions. Just over two laps from the end, Gurney made a pass back for the lead when Papis got deep on the brakes in Turn Five while battling to maintain the lead.
Gurney, along with teammate Jon Fogarty, went on the capture their first Grand-Am Series victory at the historic 2.5-mile former Formula One circuit in the center of Mexico City.
Braun, who finished second at the Mexico City race last year, and Papis are now (unofficially) third in the Daytona Prototype championship points chase with 52 points, 11 behind the leader.
Team owner/driver Tracy Krohn, who started eleventh on the grid, suffered a rear end hit on the first lap which spun him around. He and teammate Nic Jonsson was able to climb back to finish eighth and break into the Top 10 in points.
Colin Braun, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:
"I'm very happy. The Krohn car was really hooked up. It was so good on long runs and so consistent. We could run mid- to low-22s the entire race. We just played it nice and easy and smart through traffic. Max, Dave (Brown -- team engineer) and I did a great job setting up the car, along with the team. The car was fantastic. The guys did a really great pit stop. I was really happy."
"Considering all the struggles we had at Daytona, to come out of this race third in points is just a fantastic testament as to how good these guys are. We had a problem at Daytona, diagnosed it, got it fixed and we were good to go for this race. I think they did a fantastic job."
Max Papis, driver, No. 75 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:
"It was an awesome race. There was a great battle between me and the 99 car. It seemed like we were always hitting traffic at the wrong spots. I had about an eight second lead. The lead went down to two seconds, then back up to ten seconds. After I hit traffic again, it was down to two seconds and I saw Alex Gurney in my mirror. Unfortunately, we had traffic in Turn 9 and he was able to go by me there. As soon as he went by, I was pushing as hard as I could, hoping he was going to find the similar problems that I had before. And actually he did. He went into the last corner and had really heavy traffic. I was able to pull a move and go by him on the front stretch. I went into Turn five with two laps to go, which is a really bumpy place, and for a moment my foot slipped off the brake pedal. I went a little too deep into the braking zone, got into the marbles and got off course. My hat is of to Alex Gurney. He gave me a hard run. I gave everything I could."
"To me, it was still a great race. I need to thank everyone at Krohn Racing team. Today we were the class of the field. Sometimes when you're racing, you have to push as hard as you can to achieve the best results. Today I guess the best we could do was second. I feel sorry because I feel I let the team and Colin down because we could have won. At the same time, it's racing. I don't want to be here complaining that I didn't try hard enough. I tried as hard as I could and I still believe second place is a great achievement."
"We closed up the gap in the points and it put us in a position we want to be. We still have many races to go. It's just the beginning of the championship to battle out with those guys. I think the 99 car will part of the battle this year."
Tracy W. Krohn, team owner/driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley:
"Unfortunately Max had a little bit of bad luck and I got hit from behind in Turn one. That kind of killed our race for us, but we caught back up a little bit. Nic did a great job at the end. I kept my head down and kept going but I was disappointed because we had such a good car. This was probably the best the car has been for a long time. It was really good. The points put us inside the Top 10 in our car (No. 76) and Max and Colin (No. 75) are third."
"The car was very solid. I'm very proud of the team. The team did a great job getting the cars prepared. Everybody did just super."
Nic Jonsson, driver, No. 76 Krohn Racing Pontiac Riley: "It was unfortunate that Tracy got hit at the start. We had been in the top three in every session this week. Tracy probably did the best I've seen him in the car this entire week. He did a great job both in practice and the race. This team had two really, really good cars. Our engineers did a great job getting the cars prepared. Eighth place is not that bad. We have to look at the positive that it helped us with the points chase." eff Hazell, Krohn Racing Team Manager:
"I enjoyed the race immensely. We had a good weekend, although not perfect. We'll try harder. We're starting to claw back some points. We're beginning to demonstrate the rewards of all the work we did over the winter."
The next race, Round 3 of 14, will be the Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, March 24th.